HH Judge Deborah Taylor, Chair
I sit as a Circuit Judge dealing with crime and as such am able to offer the Trust my daily experience of the criminal justice system, offenders and sentences. I joined the board of trustees in 2008 and became Chair in October 2013.
I am a Sector Portfolio Manager at Investec Asset Management and have spent over 20 years in the City, having previously worked at JP Morgan and Citigroup Asset Management. I’m also an active investor in social enterprise companies as one of the founding members of the Clearly Social Angels Network in addition to having substantial angel investing experience. I am also a member of the Finance Committee of the Wates Foundation and a member of the Admissions Panel of the Social Stock Exchange.
I am a business psychologist with more than 20 years of experience of helping organisations, teams and individuals to grow and fulfil their potential. I am a longstanding director of YSC, a global consultancy, and one of the team that grew it from small beginnings. I am passionate about our work at the Irene Taylor Trust which gives participants development, new learning about their potential, the experience of rising to a challenge and the lasting self-esteem which success brings.
I am very honoured to be a trustee of a charity that undertakes such important and effective work with the marginalised in society. The redemptive power of music has done wonders to help turn around the lives of many prisoners and ex-offenders. My background is that I am a partner at Ropes & Gray, a leading global law firm, based in London.
I work at Penguin Random House book publishers. I lead a team of publicists and our role is to generate interest in our books and authors, organise interviews and events. We have an excellent Learning and Development team at Penguin Random House and they put together a Creative Leadership Programme for staff. The programme had three modules and one element was the opportunity to work with a charity over two days. I chose the Irene Taylor Trust but to be honest didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve worked for a variety of companies over the years and I realise how lucky I am to have the support of a large organisation. I knew working with a charity would be a huge eye opener and it was; I was blown away by the team and the work ITT does and was so honoured when I was invited to become a trustee.
Eileen Eastaugh-Mascoll, Adviser to the Board
I am involved with the Trust because of their non-judgemental attitude towards offenders. It’s purpose is to support current and ex offenders, helping with rehabilitation. The work of the Trust is very professional and the participants have the opportunity to be a part of the team, as they always try to fit around the offender’s talents. This is a very positive outlook from a very supportive organisation of which I am very proud to be a part of.
Having been an ex-participant myself, I find the Trust to be a breath of fresh air. It helps you to identify the path you want to take. Being a part of the Trust means looking to the future; expressing yourself freely, whilst being respectful of yourselves and others around you and the Trust.
I am extremely honoured to be the Advisor to the Board of Trustees and being able to be a part of the discussions and ideas for the future of the Trust. As a singer, this has given me to opportunity to do what I do best. In addition I have gained a lot of experience that has assisted me in applying for jobs and this is available to others as well. Most importantly, the purpose of the Trust is about helping offenders and ex-offenders to be rehabilitated and knowing their doors are always open to anyone who needs it.
I have been teaching and am also part of the management team within prison education for 17 years. I am passionate about my role and with my responsibility of supporting our learners to achieve their goals . Both learners, and our dedicated team aspire and achieve in what are often difficult and ever changing circumstances. I have had the pleasure of working with Sara and The Irene Taylor Trust in different establishments throughout my career and in various projects including a collaboration with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. I was honoured to become a Trustee member tn 2017 and look forward to supporting new and exciting projects.
Linda Jones, Vice-Chair
My professional background was in criminal justice. I joined the Probation Service in 1974 and worked in Brixton, Northamptonshire and Suffolk, before becoming Chief (Probation) Officer in Leicestershire and Rutland in 1988, where I stayed for 16 years. During my time as Chief Officer, I spent 3 years seconded to HM Prison Service Headquarters, where I set up and led the Women’s Policy Group, advising Ministers and leading on policy for women prisoners and prisons. In 2004, I moved to the Home Office and Ministry of Justice as the Regional Commissioner for prisons and probation. I retired in December 2009.
Since then, I’ve been active in the voluntary and community sector. I am a Trustee of 4 Charities in Leicestershire, including chairing 2 of the Boards of Trustees, and I’m Vice Chair of The Irene Taylor Trust ‘Music in Prisons’. I am a volunteer with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust at Rutland Water Nature Reserve, doing a range of things, including working with young people and monitoring breeding Ospreys. My other passions are travel, reading, walking, gardening, watching sport and playing golf, when I have the time!
I am a solicitor working in the field of charity law at Farrer & Co. Since 2005, I have advised a wide range of charities, and those who fund and work with them, on compliance with a range of charity law issues. It is a great privilege to join the board of the Trust.
Paul Meitner, Vice-Chair and Hon. Treasurer
I’m a Chartered Accountant whose day job is in the Business Recovery Services Division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP. Outside work I have significant experience of the Voluntary Sector and am a trustee of two other charities. I’ve been a trustee of Music in Prisons since 2007 and Honorary Treasurer since 1998. My other interests include classical music, travel and architecture. I live in West London and try to attend at least a couple of our events each year. I’m always impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the participants at our workshops and believe strongly in the therapeutic power of music and art.
Gary Sharpe, Adviser to the Board
Music is important. For me it has always been a healer and the work that the Trust do in the criminal justice system, works, absolutely – I can testify to this, having experienced it from both sides of the ‘fence’.
My interest in the power of music in prisons goes back to an evening in November 1984 when I took Sara Lee and Nick Hayes, along with other musicians from the Guildhall of Music & Drama, to perform in Wormwood Scrubs prison. From that day on, Sara and Nick have never looked back, and for many years they and a growing number of musicians have been the musical inspiration for the outstanding work of Music in Prisons. For over 50 years now I have been a catalyst for change in music institutions, always trying to get them to become more socially engaged. But throughout this challenging journey I have always seen Music in Prisons as a model of exemplary practice. Their work is increasingly important in the current climate.
I am a passionate and committed music fan. I’m a music lawyer and founder member of SSB Solicitors. I have worked with a range of successful artists including Seal, Joan Armatrading, the Prodgiy, Lemar and Adele.